Frequently Asked Questions
Where does iSolar fit into the community solar process?
Typically, there are three companies involved.
- The Developer/Construction company who actually builds and maintains the physical farm.
- The billing & customer service company (similar to a leasing office in an apartment building)
- The Education & Enrollment company (iSolar). Similar to Apartment Guide.
Once you enroll with iSolar, we will introduce you to the Billing & Customer service company who will be your primary contact post-enrollment.
You can always email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you in any way we can.
How long does it take to build a community solar project?
Depending on the size of the project, actual construction of a solar farm only takes about 16 weeks. Leading up to the start of construction, developers need to find a suitable site, secure funding, and obtain all of the necessary permits. The pre-construction process can take six months to more than a year, depending on the difficulty of finding a site, local permitting processes, and partnering with the local utility.
What are the criteria for subscribing to a solar farm?
All you have to do is have an active electric utility account in an area that is served by a community solar project! There is no upfront investment, no need for expensive equipment or installation, and no need to even own your property. Any house, townhouse, trailer, apartment, or business qualify! If you are a utility customer, then you have already met the criteria and are ready to get the benefits of inexpensive solar power.
How do I get matched with the right community solar project?
During the enrollment process, we will use your account info to calculate your average annual electricity usage, then we’ll identify a local community solar project that can meet your usage needs. Once we find a solar project that has the right capacity, you’ll be offered a subscription to participate in that community solar project.
How is my allocation on the farm calculated?
By calculating your average annual electricity usage, we can determine what solar power capacity you need to offset your bill by up to 100%. Your allocation reflects your usage, and we match you with a community solar project that has the right capacity. Each month, the power generated by your allocation appears as credits on your utility bill and is a match to your annual electricity costs.
How are solar credits applied to my bill? To the whole bill or just a portion?
The credits from your solar farm allotment are automatically applied to your monthly utility bill, reducing the total amount due. Bill credits offset all electricity costs: supply and delivery.
If you use more electricity than was generated on your behalf, the utility will invoice you for the difference. Use less electricity than your allotment generated and you will not owe the utility any money that month. Any remaining credits will “roll over” for future use.
For example, in the Northeast, seasons have an impact on solar energy production. In the summer months, with longer and sunnier days, solar farms produce more electricity. In the winter, solar farms tend to produce less. Over the course of a year, you can expect your solar farm to produce more electricity than your household can use.
Can I subscribe to a project before it’s live?
Yes. Subscribing to a solar farm while it is being developed is a way to reserve capacity for yourself. This commits the solar farm to meet your energy needs once it goes live. You won’t be charged a subscription fee during the construction phase. Neither will you receive any credits on your bill.
Does community solar work the same as rooftop solar?
They are completely different. Community solar is a way for consumers to participate directly with a solar power project and farm, while rooftop solar is when a consumer becomes an energy producer by installing expensive equipment on their roof. With community solar, there is no need for expensive installations. There are no upfront costs and the only requirement is that you have an electric utility account. In just a few minutes we can get you linked up with a community solar project, and you’ll enjoy green energy that supports your community while saving money!
Where can I find the solar credits on my utility bill?
This question comes up A LOT. Utility bills are notoriously hard to read, and each utility designs its bill differently using different terms to identify the credits:
- ConEd: Adjustments
- RG&E: CDG Value Stack Credit
- Eversource: Net Metering Credit
- NGrid: Net Metering Credit
- Other utilities typically list the credits under the “miscellaneous” section of your bill.
How do I get started with community solar?
That’s the easy part! Click on the Enroll Now button at the top of the page, and you’ll be on your way to green energy for a green community!
How long after I subscribe will I see credits on my bill?
Typically, you will see credit within 1-3 billing cycles. If the farm is not live yet, it could take longer but you will be updated along the way until you are active on the farm.